President Barack Obama has signed a waiver to remove curbs on funding to the Palestinian Authority, declaring the aid to be "important to the security interests of the United States."
We need first to understand that the US Congress froze a $192 million aid package to the Palestinian Authority last September after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas defied the US and sought to attain UN endorsement of Palestinian statehood.
The Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2012 states under section 7040 (a) PROHIBITION OF FUNDS,
None of the funds appropriated by this Act... may be obligated or expended with respect to providing funds to the Palestinian Authority.
Section 7040 (b) WAIVER states,
The prohibition included in subsection (a) shall not apply if the President certifies in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President pro tempore of the Senate, and the Committees on Appropriations that waiving such prohibition is important to the national security interests of the United States.
In simple English, section ‘a', "no funds to the Palestinian Authority" may be ‘waived' according to section ‘b' if "it is important to the national security interests of the United States."
Obama has now signed a waiver and instructed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to inform Congress accordingly.
By citing section ‘b' the ‘waiver' Obama signed circumvents Congress and releases all funds immediately,
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
SUBJECT: Waiver of Restriction on Providing Funds to the Palestinian Authority
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 7040(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012 (Division I, Public Law 112-74) (the "Act"), I hereby certify that it is important to the national security interests of the United States to waive the provisions of section 7040(a) of the Act, in order to provide funds appropriated to carry out Chapter 4 of Part II of the Foreign Assistance Act, as amended, to the Palestinian Authority.
Obama never wanted these funds to the Palestinian Authority held back to begin with, last October, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated during a press conference in Israel,
"The administration opposes holding these funds from the Palestinians. This is a critical time and it is not a time to withhold those funds".
Israel National News reported in October of last year,
The Obama administration is in "intensive" discussion with lawmakers to release $200 million in blocked aid to the PA.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was quoted as having said that the administration was in "intensive" discussions with key lawmakers who had put holds on the money.
On April 11, a report in the National Journal called it "a rare display of executive-branch authority" and stated,
Administrations generally do not disburse funding over the objections of lawmakers on relevant committees.
The article quoted House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, of Florida,
"The U.S. has given $3 billion in aid to the Palestinians in the last five years alone, and what do we have to show for it?" Ros-Lehtinen said on Wednesday in a statement to National Journal. "Now the administration is sending even more. Where is the accountability for U.S. taxpayer dollars?"
Kudos to Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for making a simple yet extremely relevant point, 3 billion in the last 5 years "and what do we have to show for it?"
Well, let's see. According to our own US Department of State there are 50 groups listed on the Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) that was updated as recently as January 27, 2012. Of those listed, 8 groups are either Palestinian terror organizations or offshoots thereof,
Abu Nidal Organization Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement) Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) PFLP-General Command (PFLP-GC) Army of Islam (AOI)
With these terrorist organizations located in and operating out of the West Bank and Gaza, where is that money really going to end up and how exactly does it fall in to the category of being "important to the national security interests of the United States"?
Does Obama, as President of the US. need to explain to Congress how releasing these funds are in any way "important to the national security interest"? Evidently not, and by signing a waiver on these grounds he is able to totally ignore and bypass Congress.
I have to wonder what if anything this has to do with campaign contributions. Journalist and radio host Aaron Klein reported back in August 2008,
Palestinian brothers inside the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip are listed in government election filings as having donated $29,521.54 to Sen. Barack Obama's campaign.
Donations of this nature would violate election laws, including prohibitions on receiving contributions from foreigners and guidelines against accepting more than $2,300 from one individual during a single election, Bob Biersack, a spokesman for the Federal Election Commission, told WND in response to a query.
Then there is the video report from al-Jazeera from March 2008. Palestinians working phone banks in Gaza for the Obama Campaign.
Yes, that's correct; the poor, poor Palestinians living in squalor somehow not only have internet cafes, but can afford to call all the way to the US to help Obama during his campaign.
Then again, perhaps the money is in the hopes that so-called "peace process" between Israel and the Palestinians would continue, a bribe if you will. After all, the last scheduled meeting didn't go quite as well as hoped.
Once again, the Palestinians backed out, yet again. As was reported less than two weeks ago,
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad pulled out of a planned meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netayahu on Tuesday.
The move scuttled what was set to be the highest-level talks between Israeli and PA officials in nearly two years.
Fayyad and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were scheduled to meet Tuesday evening in what the PA portrayed as "a last-ditch effort to salvage peace talks" before the US election season.
But of course, Israel will be blamed yet again and the Palestinians will get the $192 million.
It is after all for your safety.
FamilySecurityMatters.orgContributing Editor Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returning to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high schools and colleges. He can be heard every Thursday night at 8PM est. on his own radio show "America Akbar" on Blog Talk Radio. He can be reached through his website gadiadelman.com.
Join FSM and stay informed. Get your daily Security Update delivered each day to your e-mail.
The views expressed in the articles published in FamilySecurityMatters.org are those of the authors. These views should not be construed as the views of FamilySecurityMatters.org or of the Family Security Foundation, Inc., as an attempt to help or prevent the passage of any legislation, or as an intervention in any political campaign for public office. COPYRIGHT 2013 FAMILY SECURITY MATTERS INC.